April 4 — Preferred Postseason Possibilities & Goaltender Her-Story

Yesterday’s NHL Scores

Last Night’s News 📰

IRON MAN’S END GAME: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle was a healthy scratch on Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, ending his NHL-record streak of consecutive games played at 989. It was Yandle’s first missed game since March 22, 2009. With the Flyers eliminated from playoff contention, head coach Mike Yeo took Yandle out of the lineup in favor of younger guys.

SEAN GONE: If the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames make a run in the Western Conference this spring, they will need to do so without veteran forward Sean Monahan, who will undergo season-ending hip surgery. In his ninth season with the Flames, the 27-year-old had career-lows of eight goals and 23 points in 65 games.

PANTHERS ARE POSTSEASON BOUND: Florida became the first team to punch its ticket to the playoffs after beating the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. The Panthers began the season as one of the league’s hottest teams, winning their first eight contests, and have remained at the top of the standings since, being led by Jonathan Huberdeau with 97 points in 69 games. 

40 + 50 = 206: Connor McDavid scored his 40th goal of the season and added two assists, while Leon Draisaitl notched his 50th—in addition to a helper—becoming the second player this year to reach 100 points. It marks the second time Draisaitl has reached the 50-goal plateau in his career and the third time with 100+ points, whereas McDavid’s tally marks his third 40-goal season. 

SENATORS HONOR MELNYK: Sunday was the first home game since the passing of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, and the organization paid tribute to his memory. Complete with commemorative “EM” patches, a video tribute, and a moment of silence, the Senators honored Melnyk’s legacy before defeating the Detroit Red Wings 5-2. 

HOMESICK: Speaking of Ottawa, the Senators and the Seattle Kraken were the only two home teams to win on Sunday, as seven of the nine matchups saw the host clubs lose to their visitors. Catch up on all the action here

Women in the QMJHL

Last Friday, 18-year-old goaltender Ève Gascon became the second woman in the history of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), one of Canada’s three men’s Major Junior hockey leagues, to register a win, 22 years after the first woman did it. She made 23 saves for the Gatineau Olympiques in their 7-3 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Gascon became the third woman in history to play in the QMJHL this season and the first to do so in over 20 years. Gatineau called Gascon up after going 10-5-0 with a 2.81 goals-against average (GAA) and an .899 save percentage (SV%) for the Saint-Laurent Patriotes, a men’s team in the Quebec College Hockey League (QCHL).

A native of Terrebonne, Quebec, Gascon has appeared in two games for the Olympiques, logging 121:10 of ice time and stopping 41 of 49 shots. She follows a road traveled only by two other women, with each taking a different path to get there.

Charline Labonté (1999-2001)

Charline Labonté was a three-time Olympic gold medalist with the Canadian women’s team (2006, 2010, and 2014). She finished her international career, which spanned from 2006 to 2016, ranking second in national team history in games played, wins, and shutouts.

Charline Labonté playing for the CWHL’s Montreal Stars in 2015 (Jess Desjardins/CWHL)

Labonté appeared for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL between 1999 and 2001 before her international career began. She became the second woman to play and the first to win a game, playing in 28 games for the Titan, going 4-9-2 and posting a 5.26 GAA and an .839 SV% in 1,105:58 of ice time.

Labonté later went on to star at McGill University, play in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), and suit up in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) before retiring from hockey in 2017.

Manon Rhéaume (1991-92)

Holding the distinction of the only woman to play in the NHL, Rhéaume appeared in goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning during two preseason games between 1992 and 1993. She played one period against the St. Louis Blues in 1992—stopping seven of nine shots—and a period against the Boston Bruins in 1993.

Manon Rhéaume at a ceremonial puck drop between NWHL captains Hilary Knight and Emily Pfalzer in 2015 (Photo courtesy NWHL)

Before that, Rhéaume played one game for the Trois-Rivières Draveurs of the QMJHL during the 1991-92 season, becoming the first woman to ever play in a men’s Major Junior hockey league. She went on to play 24 total games with men’s professional organizations, including the International Hockey League (IHL), ECHL, and West Coast Hockey League (WCHL). She also won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics, the first Olympics to feature women’s hockey.

Following a career that spanned 18 years and several different leagues (both men’s and women’s), Rhéaume retired from hockey. She was hired as an analyst for the Detroit Red Wings in 2021 and made an appearance at the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend, playing goalie during the Breakaway Challenge.

First-Round Matchups We’re Dying to See

Today marks exactly four weeks until the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For some, that might seem too long—especially given that the postseason typically kicks off in mid-April—but still, with each game looming large, it certainly feels like we have started to embark on the quest to crown a new Cup champion.

As positioning battles continue to help the playoff picture grow clearer, here are four first-round matchups that look tantalizingly possible come May 2:

Colorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights

The Colorado Avalanche are in the midst of a dominant season that has seen them record 49 wins and 104 points in just 69 games for the best record in hockey. Their reward may ultimately be a first-round tilt against the team that eliminated them a year ago. The injury-plagued Vegas Golden Knights are fighting for their playoff lives, but a recent hot streak could signal a star-studded rematch between the Cup hopefuls in Round 1.

Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers

Calgary Flames Matthew Tkachuk is stopped by Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

A new chapter in the Battle of Alberta—at least in the first round—looks to be a bit of a stretch, as the Flames have created some distance atop the Pacific Division and the Oilers still have a bit of cushion in the division’s third spot. Of course, neither team can guarantee their spot. Calgary has lost three straight, and the Los Angeles Kings are narrowing the gap, while the Oilers still need to fend off a charging Vegas team. 

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins

With two points separating three teams in the razor-thin Atlantic Division, many possibilities remain in play—and just about every one of them offers intrigue. We could see the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Tampa Bay Lightning in a clash of two of the league’s most potent offensive attacks. Or, Toronto could battle with former goalie Frederik Andersen and the Carolina Hurricanes, while the Boston Bruins could set up a 2020 second-round rematch with Tampa. However, another chapter of the Leafs-Bruins rivalry might be the most entertaining scenario.

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Believe it or not, we aren’t that far from a possible in-state rivalry playing out—again—in the first round. The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning engaged in a spirited six-game first-round series a year ago, which started the Lightning’s Cup run but helped the Panthers develop into the powerhouse we see now in return. A first-round rematch once seemed unthinkable given their shared status as Cup contenders but is very much in play if both teams stumble a bit down the stretch.

Player Spotlight — Roman Josi

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi is having a career season. He has 81 points which currently leads all defensemen. This season marks his fifth as the team captain, as Josi directs his team in their hunt for a playoff spot. Fans know plenty about what he brings to the ice, but what about his life outside of hockey? Let’s check in.

Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Which Athlete Would You Like to See Skate?:

Usain Bolt

Most Played Song?:

Kane Brown – One Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Spot?:

Italy or Turks & Caicos

Which Celebrity Would You Be Most Starstruck By?:

Roger Federer

Favorite Junk Food?:


Preferred Way to Spend Time on a Team Flight?:

Board Games

Favorite Lunchbox Snack?:


NHL Standings

NHL’s Leading Scorers

Today’s NHL Schedule